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Here is the meat of it:

Egypt had its Clavell moment on February 8 when the Food and Agricultural Organization warned that drought in China might require the world's largest wheat producer to import vast amounts of the grain, forcing the market price to levels never seen before.

Not until June will we know the extent of the damage to China's winter wheat crop, virtually all its production. Extremely low rainfall this winter parched more than 5 million hectares of 14 million hectares planted, and the next few weeks' weather will determine if the world faces a real shortage of the staff of life.

Hoarding on the part of North African countries, starting with Algeria, has already pushed up the wheat price in the Mediterranean to a 20% premium over the price shown on the Chicago futures market. The immediate risk is that pre-emptive purchases of wheat will price the grain out of the reach of poor Egyptians, not to mention Pakistanis and Bengalis.

And if reserve-rich China, usually self-sufficient, goes into the world market to buy millions of tons of wheat, the price of wheat can rise to an arbitrarily high level.

There is a root cause to the Egyptian uprising, as I wrote last week (Food and failed Arab states,February 2), and it is not Israel, but China: prosperity in Asia creates inelastic demand for grain, such that a minor supply disruption such as the 2010 droughts in Argentina and Russia causes huge price increases. American economist Larry Kudlow observes as well that ethanol subsidies artificially inflate grain demand as well, contributing to the present price spike.
 

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Thanks UJ.. that cut right to the chase..

But still read the whole thing if you can.. there is some interesting info there
 

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BucketHunter
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Great find -- good read. Thanks!
 

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Grow more wheat would also be useful. The wheat in long term storage is out of circulation if there is land available to seed it into.
 

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Grow more wheat would also be useful. The wheat in long term storage is out of circulation if there is land available to seed it into.
Yup!

Got a test acre under cultivation right now here on the coast of Maine. It was planted right after the dry pinto beans were harvested there mid-September, so it should have a lot of nitrogen to benefit from.

Should be ready by end of June.

Bought a grain-cradle scythe - it lays the wheat down even so it can be bound and brought in as sheaves.
http://www.americanartifacts.com/smma/grain/cradle.htm

One more step to 100% self-sufficiency on the old homestead!

- Basey

 

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I'm done - gone
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I just bought another 100# at a local Mennonite store just last week. It was half the price of what I buy online and no shipping! It's like a 45 min drive one way, but who cares lol
 

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Bought a grain-cradle scythe - it lays the wheat down even so it can be bound and brought in as sheaves.
I finally got one of those last fall at an auction. :2thumb: I had bid on them before and drew the line at $50. A lot of folks seemed to want them. I got mine for $35. I haven't had a chance to use it yet but I hope to try it out this year.
 

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Yup!

Got a test acre under cultivation right now here on the coast of Maine. It was planted right after the dry pinto beans were harvested there mid-September, so it should have a lot of nitrogen to benefit from.

Should be ready by end of June.

Bought a grain-cradle scythe - it lays the wheat down even so it can be bound and brought in as sheaves.
American Grain Cradles

One more step to 100% self-sufficiency on the old homestead!

- Basey

YouTube - ScytheSupply Wheat Harvest
So many questions here. How much flour does an acre of wheat produce in Maine? Also do you work the land by hand or with a tractor? We have been wanting to try our hand at wheat here in Maine but havent taken the jump yet.
 

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Beginner's Mind
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Yup!

Got a test acre under cultivation right now here on the coast of Maine. It was planted right after the dry pinto beans were harvested there mid-September, so it should have a lot of nitrogen to benefit from.

Should be ready by end of June.

Bought a grain-cradle scythe - it lays the wheat down even so it can be bound and brought in as sheaves.
American Grain Cradles

One more step to 100% self-sufficiency on the old homestead!

- Basey
Oh, man that looks like a lot of work!!

Do you know how many bushels per acre you got out of it?
 

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@ halfcrazy and jungatheart...

Yeah, lot of work, but this test plot is a trial in case I have to "grow my own bread" WTSHTF.

I won't know how much yield till I have harvested, threshed and winnowed it.

I know it won't be as much as if it is planted by a grain drill because I broadcast the wheat seed by hand, after running a disk harrow over the bean stubble.
You have to get it in the ground about the middle of September for "spring wheat".

I'll bookmark this thread and bump it with results when the time comes.

We bake 3 loaves of whole wheat bread a week... love staying healthy!

@ Uncle Joe: -yup, I bought mine for $35 too, but I'll have to make 2 new oak "fingers" for it where they broke off at the handle, but that's an easy fix.

- Basey

ps... The deep blanket of early snow covered the 8" high "wheat grass" and kept it insulated from the subzero temps. The wheat "seed" came from just south of Minneapolis where I was working for 3 years... and it was a LOT colder out there than here on the Maine coast!!

PPS @ halfcrazy... there's a few big-time wheat farmers up in Houlton (we bought 1 1/2 tons for storage last year), and some of the Amish colony in New Smyrna that I know have grown some by hand and horsepower... if you are up there. drop into their country store and ask about it.
 

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I live in wheat country and grew up on a grain farm.

Start with secure, adequete storage for the amount of grain you want to end up storing. You will need separate storage for milled flour (and the flour milling equipment), whole berry milling wheat (and the equipment/space to winnow it this clean), screenings (the part winnowed out of the milling wheat; it makes excellent chicken feed), the wheat straight from the threashing (and the threashing equipment), and the wheat prior to threashing (and the equipment to haul it around and load and unload).

The above is what is needed after the wheat has been cut and tied into sheaves.

Winter kill for winter wheat is generally the outcome of the wind blowing the snow off a feild. Four to six inches of snow will generally protect the crop for up to -40F if it stays on top of the grain. It needs some wind to pollinate.

Rust might be a serious problem in the north east if there is more wheat grown.

Historically, hand planted wheat was followed by running a herd of animals across the planting to push the wheat berries (we call it seed) into the ground. In dryland farming wheat is generally planted about 2 inches deep. About the same depth as the herd of animals would bury it.

Without the herd of animals (or some sort of mechanical seeder) to get it down into the ground, the amount of seed per acre would need to go way up and the crop will need more water and be more vulnerable to lodging (falling over) with wind.

The least costly way of getting a good supply of high quality grains with minimum labour would be to voluntarily provide spring/fall labour to a farmer with actual equipment who produces grains for a crop share. This would presume you then had someplace to store and process the grain when you got it home.

With milk, eggs, and meat you feed the sheaves directly to the animal with little to no further processing and let the animals provide you with edible food.
 

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Historically, hand planted wheat was followed by running a herd of animals across the planting to push the wheat berries (we call it seed) into the ground. In dryland farming wheat is generally planted about 2 inches deep. About the same depth as the herd of animals would bury it.

Without the herd of animals (or some sort of mechanical seeder) to get it down into the ground, the amount of seed per acre would need to go way up and the crop will need more water and be more vulnerable to lodging (falling over) with wind.
Huh! -never heard of that one! Interesting. I dragged an old wire coil bedspring across the roughly disk-harrowed seedbed after broadcasting, and I'd say the germination was 95%.

If I had sheep, I would sow it out by hand and let my dog run them ragged over it and save on work :D Great idea!

As it was, I had that flock of 36 wild turkeys in there all the time gobbling the seed up, so I finally tied the dog up in the middle to scare them off. :rolleyes:

I know a guy who made a threshing/winnowing machine out of a shredder-chipper...

Here is a similar type machine someone made:


Here's one made from a plastic barrel and an ceiling fan!


Looks a lot easeir than threshing and winnowing by hand, looks like I'll get busy this spring and build one!

- Basey
 

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Now that's pretty slick!!! :2thumb: (The ceiling fan)
 

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Why buy more wheat?

If you can't grow wheat, you do have to buy it, but if you look at recipes for gluten-free foods, you'll see that you can grow most, if not all, of the ingredients, whereas wheat doesn't grow everywhere.
 

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Additionally folks, we are working with 1/2 the agricultural acreages that we have in prrevious years, for many reasons.. one of which many have sold out in the san juaqin valley cause the govt, in all its wisdom allotted half their water supply to the cities in Cal, among others. Add to that that China's wheat belt is in the midst of the worst drought in history. Add to that the cost of fuel. There is definately a food shortage coming. We may not feel the harsher side of it for a couple years but in those two yrs, prices are going through the roof.
 

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Looks a lot easeir than threshing and winnowing by hand, looks like I'll get busy this spring and build one!

- Basey
go one step further if you have the time and extra bucks, go to a salvage yard where there's farm machinery and get a couple small gear boxes like off a Papac chopper or self unloading wagon so you can gear it up to run off a used execise bike. It could be geared and pullied up so a kid could peddle it easy just in case there's no power at all for a long time. gas is nice when we have it and just watching the news, we could be cut off at any time.
 

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DH and I have been considering wheat and sorghum for the acres we have access to here in CT. I know we won't get anything until fall as we didn't find the seeds before the snow flew.

Where do you folks recommend we look for bulk seeds for these two items? TIA
 

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I got our wheat from a local feed and tack store. 50# sack for $10
 
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